Monday 17 October, 2016
Monday 10th October
Well, that’s the paperwork caught up from the holiday. Been to the post office, the bank, the skip and the laundry, then fed the steers at Astwood (softening Hamish up for loading at the weekend).
Dan has cut the grass, since it’s been another lovely day. Hopefully, this will be the last cut of the lawns – but if the grass in the fields could keep growing, that would be good.
I finished weeding the house flower beds and cut back about half of the roses.
Monday 10 October, 2016
Monday 26th September
Well, that’s our four cull ewes and six tup lambs safely delivered to the abattoir. They all loaded without incident and we unloaded them an hour later into a straw bedded pen with an automatic drinker. It was all very calm. All abattoirs should be like this.
Got the paperwork up to date and that’s us down to sixteen sheep for the next 12 months.
It was lovely this morning – cool but sunny. By mid afternoon, grey and rainy. Still shouldn’t complain. There’s so much grass at our rented grazing. We’ll take the ewe lambs, Niamh and Teddy up on Wednesday, I think.
Monday 26 September, 2016
Monday 19th September
Had a visit from the Scottish and Southern Electricity tree-cutting supervisor today. They are coming tomorrow to cut back some of our trees that are fouling the power lines. These are mainly beeches that have been allowed to grow up through the beech hedge that bounds the southeast side of the vegetable garden and the orchard.
The trees have to be taken back to at least 1m below the lines but we’ve asked for them to be taken down to hedge level. We’re having some of the big timber for firewood and a couple of loads of chips and the rest of the chips are going to friends with a smallholding nearby.
Monday 19 September, 2016
Monday 12th September
Another lovely day. We’re having a real Indian summer.
Got the tup lambs and cull ewes booked in to the abattoir for the last week in September – just need the butcher to confirm now. I want to take the lambskins to Skyeskyns when we go to Skye on holiday, so timing was crucial.
Tuesday 13th September
John’s started the last section of path. It will be lovely when it’s finished.
Tuesday 13 September, 2016
Monday 5th September
Paperwork day and it’s no very warm. Too early for the central heating but definitely considering lighting the stove.
Tuesday 6th September
Yesterday I was thinking about lighting the stove; today it’s sweltering. All the animals are pechin’; poor Smokey’s sides are heaving. It’s looked really stormy but it’s come to nothing.
More Festival stuff today – all P&W and livestock entries in the spreadsheets ready to go in the catalogue.
Wednesday 7 September, 2016
Monday 29th August
There was a slightly autumnal feel this morning but my, did it brighten up into a glorious day.
Moved the sheep and cattle to fresh paddocks and put a mineral lick in for the sheep.
There’s another Sasso with a bad leg so he’s isolated, as he was being bullied. We’ll have to cull him in the next 48 hours though.
Dan pruned the espalier pears in the vegetable garden. They've got a bit of fireblight damage but should be strong enough to overcome it with judicious pruning. A good crop in prospect this year.
Monday 29 August, 2016
Monday 22nd August
Grey and drizzling this morning but the sun came out at lunchtime and warmed the place up nicely. The sweetcorn must have grown two feet in the last week. Not sure if summer will last long enough for it to ripen cobs though – some of the trees are turning already.
Mak is courting Annie, which is good.
Tuesday 23rd August
Grey and mizzley all day; mild though. Been sorting out the paperwork for the twelve ewes and gimmers I’ve sold. They are going to their new owner tomorrow. I will be sad but onwards and upwards.
Tuesday 23 August, 2016
Monday 15th August
Cool first thing but shaping up to be hot. I let the sheep into a field with better shade – I think their agitation yesterday was due to the heat rather than flies.
Finally managed to submit my Scottish Beef Calf Scheme application for 2016. Payment isn’t made until about April next year; farmers have to claim for any eligible calf born in 2016 by the end of the calendar year, then the pot of available funding is divided up on a per head. I think we got about £150 per calf this April – for fours calves, but every little helps.
Tuesday 16 August, 2016
Monday 8th August
Still windy but calmer than yesterday and last night; bright sunshine and warm though. Turned into a nice afternoon and evening but I didn’t see much of it because Monday is paperwork day. Sometimes I try to get ahead by doing it on a Sunday night, but not this week.
I tried to submit my application for the beef calf payment – it’s had a variety of names – but the system was down. Still. It was down last Monday too. And the week before that.
Tuesday 9 August, 2016
Monday 1st August
Nice day today; mainly sunny but with a bit of a breeze. Monday is usually paperwork day so spent most of it catching up with emails and other bits and pieces. Tried to submit my application for the beef calf premium but there was a fault with the system. Also caught up with some phone calls. Swept out the loosebox, ready for Brian the joiner tomorrow.
Dan was in the orchard after dinner sorting out the windbreaks. I had a look at the trees in the vegetable garden – the Victoria plum is laden with fruit so I’ll have to thin that down. One of the gages has a bit of a crop but the other three are disappointing. One got broken and we tried to bind it together but I think it’s had it, and another had fire blight and Dan had to prune it really hard.